Gai Waterhouse says Ecuador is doing everything right.
Gai Waterhouse says Ecuador is doing everything right. Simon Ballard

Ecuador chasing history in Cup

GAI Waterhouse's Ecuador can create his own piece of racing history by winning the Listed $150,000 W.J. McKell Cup (2400m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

Ecuador won the McKell Cup two years ago and is striving to become the first dual winner of the late autumn staying feature first run in 1962.

There has been some notable winner of the race including Natski (1988), Praise Indeed (1999), Fiumicino (2013) and La Amistad (2014) but no horse has ever returned to win the race again.

Ecuador is among 12 early entries for Saturday's race and with nominations extended until Tuesday morning, Racing NSW won't release weights until later on Tuesday.

However, Ecuador is expected to receive topweight of 60kg with Destiny's Kiss next on 59.5kg.

Ecuador is out to break his own weight-carrying record in the McKell Cup having shouldered 59.5kg when he scored in 2016, equalling Praise Indeed's standard.

Waterhouse said Ecuador, runner-up in the Doncaster Prelude, Hawkesbury Gold Cup and Lord Mayor's Cup in his three starts this autumn, is doing everything right ahead of Saturday's race.

Ecuador is expected to receive topweight of 60kg for Saturday’s Randwick race.
Ecuador is expected to receive topweight of 60kg for Saturday’s Randwick race.

"Ecuador is such a genuine horse, he deserves to win another good race and he can't be any fitter going into this race,'' the trainer said.

Waterhouse will be at Randwick on Saturday while co-trainer Adrian Bott looks after the Doomben team including brilliant mare and last-start Doomben 10,000 winner English, one of the early favourites for the Group 1 $700,000 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1350m).

"English is going to have a fast gallop (this morning) with (race jockey) Tim Clark riding him,'' Waterhouse said.

"She is in great form and we haven't ruled out keeping her going for the Stradbroke Handicap next month.''


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